Federal Court Rejects Drilling And Fracking In Greater Chaco Region
A federal appeals court yesterday rejected the Biden administration’s defense of unchecked oil and gas fracking in the Greater Chaco region of northwest New Mexico, ruling the U.S. Interior Department flouted the law when approving 199 drilling permits in the culturally significant landscape. The ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit is being hailed as a victory for Tribal and environmental groups who have worked for years to defend the landscape from rampant oil and gas extraction. With Chaco Canyon at its heart, the Greater Chaco region is a living and ancient cultural landscape, spanning northwest New Mexico, southwest Colorado, southeast Utah, and northeast Arizona. Today, Chaco Canyon in northwest New Mexico is a national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site, considered one of the most important archaeological sites in the Western Hemisphere.